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For the Media

Gordon Adams Testifies for Cutting Defense Budget

WHO:   Dr. Gordon Adams, a professor of U.S. Foreign Policy at American University’s School of International Service, is a former associate director for national security and international affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (1993-1997).  Adams has published widely on defense and national security policy, the defense policy process, and national security budgets.

WHAT:  Available for television, print, and radio interviews                       

WHEN:  July 7 – ongoing

WHERE: In-studio or via telephone.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 7, 2011) -- Dr. Gordon Adams, professor of U.S. Foreign Policy at American University’s School of International Service, testified today before the House Budget Committee’s hearing on “Budgeting for America’s National Security.”  Adams, who oversaw all U.S. foreign affairs and national security budgeting at OMB is a proponent of deeper defense cuts.  In his prepared testimony, he told members of the House Budget Committee, “Our central national security crisis today is our looming federal debt and annual deficits.”  Adams opined, “A budgetary solution is only achievable if it is balanced and not arrived at on the back of just one part of the federal budget.” 

Adams argued, “It is possible to discipline the defense budget and produce savings while ensuring that our military capabilities and our global leadership not only remain powerful, but may even be improved by a tighter focus on core missions and capabilities.” In order to achieve defense budget discipline Adams explained, “This will mean making choices linked to a realistic assessment of risks, and connecting our national security strategy, our military missions, and budgetary restraint.”  Some of these elements have been noticeably absent or disregarded over the last decade according to Adams since defense spending has more than doubled in that time consuming  55 percent of discretionary spending.

Based on his analysis, Adams called for immediate defense cuts, “In my judgment the starting point for that [defense budget] discipline is and should be the FY2011 appropriation for the base defense budget the Congress provided in March for $529 billion.”  However, the discipline Adams advocates is gradual and would occur over several years in a planned manner, “The Simpson-Bowles Fiscal Commission, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Rivlin Domenici Panel, and the Sustainable Defense Task Force have all endorsed reductions between $500 billion and a trillion dollars over the next ten years.”  This is in contrast to the $400 billion in cuts over 12 years proposed by President Obama in April. 

Adams concluded his testimony stating, “The strategic, mission, and fiscal discipline I recommend creates little risk for our national security; indeed priority-setting might enhance both our security and our global leadership.”  Underscoring this point Adams said, “Even with such reductions, the U.S. military would continue to be decades ahead of any other military in capacity and technology, with the only capacity to fly, sail, and deploy ground forces on a global basis, and possess the only global communications, logistics, transportation, and intelligence available on the planet.”

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